Research projects

Research projects in the WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Urban Environments

An overview of our key research themes and related projects.

Current research projects

Our planet, our health award (2016-2019) - Factoring long-term health impacts into urban development

This project, funded by the Wellcome Trust, will quantify current and future health costs and benefits of urban environments, helping to make health impacts a priority in urban  development planning.

What the project will do:

  • Conduct a literature survey to quantify the health costs and benefits of different aspects of urban environments.
  • Use this economic information to gain a better understanding of how to create healthy urban environments.
  • The researchers will collaborate with urban development agencies – such as city authorities – to explore barriers and opportunities for such work.
  • A panel of experts in urban development, policy and impact will support the research.

View full details on the Wellcome Trust project

Re-uniting planning and health: Tackling the implementation gaps in evidence, governance and knowledge

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), this was a major interdisciplinary seminar series with an overall aim of considering how public health can contribute to urban planning and the delivery of healthy sustainable communities. This series offers a forum for academics and practitioners to discuss the obstacles to reuniting planning and health and identify workable and economically viable solutions that help deliver health outcomes, wellbeing and equity in cities and neighbourhoods.

Find out more about the ESRC Seminar Series

Healthy people healthy places evidence tool – Evidence and practical linkage for design, planning, policy and health

Public Health England has commissioned a literature review on the impacts of the built environment on health as well as a series of practical diagrams that illustrate the linkages, and strength of evidence, between spatial planning and health.

For more information, please contact Dr Paul Pilkington (

Examples of past projects

Some examples of past projects within WHO Collaborating Centre:

World Health Organisation Collaboration Centre

As one of only two WHO Collaborating Centres in the world situated in a built environment faculty we are recognised as a leader in the emerging field of healthy urban planning. 


Research centres and groups at UWE Bristol

Browse UWE Bristol's portfolio of research areas, expertise, staff and publications.